Limits of Social Influence on Giving: Who is Affected When and Why? | René Bekkers
In this paper evidence is presented from tax records and three large scale field experiments testing social influence effects on giving in the Netherlands. The experiments are conducted among university alumni (n=6,672) and among large random samples of the Dutch population (n=1,474; n=1,765). Also tax records are used to test peer effects among a very large random sample (n=172,947) of citizens in the Netherlands. The experiments show evidence for positive but weak social information effects on small donations. Social information effects are stronger in conditions in which people are actively imagining what others are giving. The tax records show that amounts donated by high level donors (exceeding 1% of income) are strongly sensitive to changes in the tax price as well as to changes in giving by other high level donors in the area of residence.
Bekkers, R. (2012). The Limits of Social Influence on Giving. Paper presented at the workshop “Social influences and charitable giving”, Centre for Market and Public Organisation, University of Bristol, February 24, 2012.